Nationals make sure Harper will be comfortable in Harrisburg

No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper will be in good hands again in Double-A Harrisburg as he was in Hagerstown, said Nationals’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo on 106.7 The Fan.

Harper will play mostly in left field in Harrisburg, according to Rizzo. He said that the coaching staff was one of the reasons the organization felt comfortable in selecting Double-A Harrisburg as the next destination for Harper. But, regardless of the coaching staff, the plan for Harper stays in place.

“(Manager Tony) Beasley has big league experience as a field member,” Rizzo said. “We feel good about hitting instructor (Troy Gingrich). Outfield and base running coordinator Tony Tarasco will be with him in Harrisburg to begin his career for the next week or so. With Doug Harris, our farm director, living in Harrisburg, we feel it is a good fit for him to make him comfortable and make him relaxed at that level.”

Rizzo said Harper was promoted to Harrisburg instead of High-A Potomac also because it will set the phenom up for full-time play in the Arizona Fall League come October. Harper excelled in taxi squad duty in Scottsdale last season, playing two games a week, contributing an RBI single in the championship game.

“I wanted two months into Double-A to prepare him for the Arizona Fall League,” Rizzo said. “Since the level of play in A-ball is comparable at each place, we felt he had a comfort level there at Hagerstown and we left him there for a good amount of at-bats and figured that we would challenge him in Double-A.”

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